Right up front – I am a Christian.  Have been all my life.  That fact, though, by no means qualifies me to make expert comments about Christian matters, but I do wish to share what I think from time to time… and this is one of those times.




I’ve seen a couple different versions of this cartoon – and I’ll use the one out of the Chicago Tribune as drawn by Scott Stantis for my thoughts.




First off, this bugger is apples and oranges.  The Tebow thing has nothing to do with the Collins thing.  And vice versa as well.  Period.  End of story.  About the only thing they have in common is they’re both shown from the same angle.  That’s where I point to the media and wish they would kindly shut up at some point over such issues.  I don’t care what a guy believes or how he swings in the bedroom.  I just want to see a professionally played game.




But how about Mr.Tebow and his faith?  Yes indeed, he has freedom of speech, just like you and I do.  There is no doubt about that.  In a way, good for him for having the gonads to make his faith clear to the world.  Yet, I have been taught that as a Christian, you are to pray in private, making no big show of your actions.  (Matthew 6:6 says, “But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”




I feel it is more appropriate for Mr.Tebow to have saved his moments like this for after the game or on the sidelines, when he can indeed pray in private – send his praise in private.  As for me, it would have been terribly inappropriate for me to have knelt and prayed in the middle of a concert I was directing (I taught music for 34 years…) so I rather think the same of the professional sports figures…. And that includes the home run hitters to kiss their fingers and point to heaven. .  Yet, a guy I know and respect as a good role model Christian pointed this out, maybe by being visible with his faith, Tebow may just be the conduit for someone to consider becoming a Christian.. .and that indeed is the big thing we Christians are supposed to do … share our faith.  Some people are offended by his actions, some applaud them, I merely find them inappropriate for the situation.




So why the hoopla over Mr.Tebow?  That is a VERY good question.  There have been other Christian athletes out there – and specifically in football, I think of Tony Dungy.  Why hasn’t he been vilified like Tebow?  Interesting, don’t you think?  In fact, Mr. Dungy has been all but sainted for his work in sharing his faith and lifestyle.  Maybe this whole thing should be left alone.




And then Mr.Collins and his declaration as a gay man.  Hero?  I don’t know about that.  Gutsy?  Sure.  When you’re the first to do something, you’re at least considered a pioneer.  Maybe things would be different, too, if the whole gay issue wasn’t so hot right now.  If he had come out ten years ago, what would have happened?  There’s no saying, is there?




Collins is indeed the first to come out as a professional sports athlete.  We’ve seen other athletes – Olympian Greg Louganis, for one, come out and make a bit of a splash in the media.  And for those of you who are old enough and remember Jim Bouton’s book BALL FOUR, he related a story about how the Yankees would pretend to kiss each other on the bus by covering the other guy’s mouth with their hand and then kissing their had.  Mr.Bouton’s book caused a bit of a ruckus with that revelation.




I sure don’t think Mr.Collins is the only one out there, either.  Where are the others?  Will they come to the fore as he did?  Is some coach gay?  How about an owner?




Underlying all this is the fact that some cartoonist in the media decided this was a worthy point to make…. And perhaps that’s where the real finger should be pointing.




BIG DEAL, this guy prays.  BIG DEAL, this guy is gay.  BIG DEAL, Mr.Stantis knows how to use a pencil.




And maybe even a bigger deal, those of us who pay attention to this stuff should think things through a bit more…. And yes, that includes me.